Byredo’s newest perfume is a rose soliflore. The company describes it as “an elegant and soothing floral fragrance created as an homage to the honorable nurses and unknown heroines who served on the front lines of World War I with selflessness and compassion while saving thousands of lives“.¹ How’s that for some inspiration? There’s a patriotic song of the same name of this fragrance. I have a copy of the sheet music from World War I era. However, I can’t find it which makes me wonder if somehow it didn’t make the move. It was a lovely, vivid print with lots of red. Anyway, it was a song about Red Cross Nurses. In French, I think it’s like “The Rose of the Bullets”. Of course, it’s a sad song. It’s about war and death. However, it’s history. It’s a terrible thing that happened that will never be erased. However, I like that Byredo has created a fragrance inspired by nurses and caregivers. In Western culture, rose is often viewed as a feminine and matriarchal sort of note. It’s associated with older fashioned perfumes and grooming products. I like this take on rose from a caregiving, healthcare angle. In a morbid way, it celebrates the full-circle of women and life. From the beginning to the end….²
Rose of No Man’s Land is a rose. It opens as a slightly spicy, citrus rose. With wear it becomes more ROSE. Now, there can be a lot of directions a rose can go. When I say “ROSE”, I realize that is vague. This ROSE³ is “pink” and petal-y. It’s a fruity rose with a sharp, bittter greenness. It’s not dried or like a rose oil. It’s one of those living roses with a perfect amount of tart raspberries. The dry down is almost like mustard seeds. It’s one of those spicy, mustard-y synth ouds with a sharper, super clean amber.
I’m actually struggling with my opinion of Rose of No Man’s Land. I love rose perfumes. I feel like I should have immediately feel in love with one. I think it’s possible that I already have this base covered in my collection (Serge Lutens, Malle and Comme de Garcons) so it’s hard for me to be excited by it. But, I don’t want to say it’s dull or redundant. I don’t think it’s either of those things. Is it possible that I love roses so much that I’ve been over-saturated by them? Has my love made me jaded? I like Rose of No Man’s Land but I’m not excited by it. This disappoints me because I love the inspiration and I do think it’s a good rose.
Notes listed include pink pepper, Turkish rose, raspberry blossom, papyrus and amber. Launched in 2015.
Give Rose of No Man’s Land a try if you like rose, like really like rose. Or if you like perfumes like Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin, Juliette Has a Gun Miss Charming, Stella McCartney Stella, HEELEY Hippie Rose, The Body Shop Rose Oud and/or Comme de Garcons Red Series: Rose. I’m seeing on social sites, people insinuating this is a “dark” rose. I didn’t get that from it. For me, it’s pink and living over a fantasy woods base. I actually think of it as a good mix of the light/dark aspects of roses. It never leans too much in either direction.
Projection and longevity are above average.
If they start to make bath/body products of this scent, I’ll be all over those. I love a rose-y bath product.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Another petal-y rose. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good rose soliflore. But, I already have many excellent roses. If you don’t, try this one. It’s a good straight-forward rose.
¹Now Smell This says that a portion of proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders, but I couldn’t find any other info on this. I really hope it does. It fits with the inspiration and it’s a good cause. I’ll update if I find any other info. – I did find mention on their Facebook page. Why aren’t being more vocal about this?
²Didn’t mean to get all feminist there. Who knows what Byredo is even trying to imply? I’m not trying to put words in their mouth. Rose in our society is seen as matronly or as romantic. Too different things, but both are about love and life. I like the idea of fragrance celebrating nurses. The ICRC nurses of the time helped to keep people alive but also had to be there for death. There was a British propaganda poster from the time for recruiting nurses. It referred to the nurses as “The Greatest Mother in the World”. At the time, women where nurses. Now there are nurses of all genders. And rose is a more accepted note for all genders!
³Sorry. Have to do all caps because the rose in this can not be contained in mere lowercase letters!
Want more reviews? Try…
Fragrantica – Member reviews
Design & Culture by Ed – More info on the scent and campaign.
*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Fragrantica. Sheet music image from Youtube.